Ah, more gay-baiting politics here in NC
“With a majority of North Carolinians holding conservative values and beliefs, it is unconscionable for you and the Democrat majority to continue to allow traditional marriage to remain under such a clear threat by refusing to allow a vote on a traditional marriage amendment”
— Currituck County’s Republican Party Chairman Jim Edsall, in a letter to State Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, claiming Basnight’s “soft” on same-sex marriage
The wingnuts here are stirring up the sh*t again about a marriage amendment, this time dogging the state Senate president because he didn’t bring the last bill up for debate. It was stuck in committee. Marc Basnight is not in favor of same-sex marriage; he isn’t forced to take a position other than the state’s current DOMA provides cover for him.
This is the delicate balance in my state. Wingnuts are going to keep the pressure on, and hope to topple the composition of the Democratically-held State Assembly by riding this issue into the ground. (In fact, one of the sponsors of the last marriage amendment bill, the unhinged Fred Smith, is trying to fill his coffers to run for governor.)
Unsatisfied with the record of State Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare, on social issues, Currituck County’s Republican Party leaders are calling for the senate leader to support placement of an anti-gay marriage amendment on the state’s constitution.
In a letter sent earlier this month, Currituck County’s Republican Party Chairman Jim Edsall rebuked Basnight for opposing an anti-gay marriage amendment. Basnight spokeswoman Amy Fulk said the senator does not support the constitutional amendment because a 1996 state law specifically denies recognition of marriage between same-sex couples. Neither, she said, does he support gay marriage.
“Sen. Basnight’s position is that we have strong laws,” Fulk said.
But Edsall is not satisfied. He said as an attorney, he recognizes that laws are overturned in a court of law. Constitutional amendments, however, require an act of the legislature to be changed.
For Edsall, the issue is of great importance. He said as a conservative and a Christian, it is important for him to uphold the beliefs of what he characterizes as a “majority of North Carolinians.” While Basnight does not support the amendment because of existing law, the issue is receiving direct opposition in Raleigh from gay rights organizations.
Equality NC is a gay rights advocacy and lobbying group based in the capital city. Executive Director Ed Farthing said the amendment is a divisive issue that is being pushed by Republicans throughout the state.
“The Republican party perceives (anti-gay marriage amendment) as a benefit for the Republican Party,” said Farthing. “They win if the legislature acts on it and passes it and they win with it as a campaign issue if not.”
…Four out of five Currituck County commissioners are registered Republicans. Board Chairman Paul Martin and Commissioner Owen Etheridge said they both support their parties call for the amendment. Commissioners Paul O’Neal and Eldon Miller were unavailable for comment.
Etheridge â€“ who admitted he is currently in the middle of a divorce â€“ said the marriage is a bond between a man and woman, not same-sex couples. He said he also understands Basnight’s position but believes the issue is “near and dear to a lot of people in northeast North Carolina.”